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ONM Remembered – #257

“Believe it or not this is a steering wheel for your GBA.”


from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 122 (November 2002)

Dude, a steering wheel for a freakin’ handheld. How bananas is that?! I was going to joke that I’m surprised the Nintendo DS never had a steering wheel, given how it used the GBA slot to host all sorts of crazy contraptions… but then I looked it up and the 3DS had a steering wheel attachment to tie in with Mario Kart 7. It’s not quite the same when the console’s got built-in gyroscope functionality already, but I guess it counts.

The GameCube era was a funny time for third-party peripherals for me; there was a whole heap of controllers and memory card and cables you could find, and they worked… all right. They weren’t awful, they weren’t stupendous, they were just fine. They didn’t drastically re-invent the shape of the controller or seek to modify its quirks… they just offered rather basic third-party controllers. If you were lucky you got some turbo toggles on them. That was okay.
I guess it’s disappointing when you remember the totally gonzo crap that was made for the N64 – twin-pronged controllers, stubby chubby li’l gamepads, bizarre one-handed wands wrapped in sticks and buttons. Given the console’s comparatively small library, it probably didn’t justify that much weirdness. All I ask for in a GameCube controller is something with normally-proportioned buttons! Not even Hori’s Game Boy Player pad could manage that!